Welcome to the SuperDraft Starting Five! I’m here to give you my starting five picks for your lineups — two guards, two forwards, and a center — for today’s main slate starting at 4 p.m. EST.
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The SuperDraft Starting Five:
C.J. McCOLLUM (1.35X MULTIPLIER)
Things look bleak for the Trail Blazers in Game 5, currently 13-point underdogs and facing elimination without their star Damian Lillard. But this game should be a delight from a fantasy perspective now, and McColllum is at the forefront of that. For the year with Lillard off the court, McCollum sports an absurd 33.9% usage rate and 1.26 SuperDraft points per minute. Jusuf Nurkic being back in the rotation in the restart puts an unknown variable into the usage equation, but in years past you’ve rarely been disappointed to jam in McCollum in Lillard’s absence. I prefer the “lock in McCollum and move on” approach today.
CHRIS PAUL (1.4X MULTIPLIER)
I say it a lot, but I’ll say it again: I love plays that aren’t shooting-dependent. Paul went 0-for-5 from 3 and only had three assists in Game 4 and still provided us with 42.5 SuperDraft points. Paul’s minutes and usage are always secure, and hearing the news that Russell Westbrook may try to give it a go in Game 5 would only help Paul’s ceiling prospects, as Westbrook’s defending leaves a lot to be desired. If Paul can see the assists spike and knock down a few outside shots like in Game 3, this is a smash play at a 1.4x multiplier.
SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER (1.45X MULTIPLIER)
As he is another Thunder player in this massive Game 5, I’m going to be relying heavily on Gilgeous-Alexander. Gilgeous-Alexander has come alive in this series, averaging 46.75 SuperDraft points in the past three games, and he continues to destroy the Rockets with his unbelievable ability to penetrate and either dish it off to open shooters or finish at the rim. The other staggering thing for me is the minutes. Game 4 didn’t go to overtime, and Gilgeous-Alexander was still called upon for 44 minutes. He’s over a point-per-minute fantasy producer on the year, so if he continues to get this amount of run, he’s in for another big fantasy night.
CARMELO ANTHONY (1.65X MULTIPLIER)
I’m not expecting 2007 Anthony out there in this Game 5 against the Lakers, but one thing is for sure: He’ll have the extra-green light tonight. Anthony is the only other Blazer besides McCollum to see a usage rate over 20% (25.8%) with Lillard off the court this year. His assist rate in that time remains basement low, which means Anthony tends to fire from everywhere in these situations. If he can get hot like he did in Game 3 at this 1.65x multiplier, he’s got the looks of a GPP-winning upside play.
NIKOLA VUCEVIC (1.25X MULTIPLIER)
In what is sure to be the Magic’s swan song in the bubble, I’m hoping for one more beastly outing from center Vucevic to combat the chalk Nurkic play. He has been spectacular this series and in Game 4 showed us what his ceiling can be, going off for 63.25 SuperDraft points at a 1.25x multiplier. While I’m not expecting 6-for-10 from 3 again, the Bucks are showing a willingness to let Vucevic get his and cut down on the other scoring threats such as Evan Fournier. I see one more big game from the big man coming in Game 5.
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